Prolotherapy is a permanent treatment that helps many patients with acute or chronic pain in their back, neck, shoulders, fingers, elbows, hips and other areas, all without surgery.
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the body to repair the painful and injured areas such as ligaments that have been damaged by trauma or injury, when the natural healing process of the body is not able to do the job on its own. Prolotherapy is a real treatment of the causes of pain, not just symptom relief.
Who is Prolotherapy Best For?
Prolotherapy is generally most successful for those whom chiropractic, osteopathy or physiotherapy treatments have been successful at providing temporary relief but fail to result in long term improvement. As a much less invasive, injection based alternative to those considering back surgery, it has been shown to work where other treatments may not help and may even inhibit the healing process. In addition, prolotherapy is one of the few treatments that encourage movement post-treatment rather than requiring extensive recovery time – prolotherapy treatment plans actually include exercise and movement which helps to stimulate the affected area.
What are Prolotherapy treatments like?
Prolotherapy is a safe and affordable treatment consisting of a series of injections into the joints/ligaments that are causing the pain, generally 4-6 weeks apart. These injections contain a combination of a glucose based solution with a local anaesthetic.
It is important to note that prolotherapy is not a temporary pain relief treatment, and may actually initially increase pain and discomfort in the immediate term, as the body’s natural healing processes are kicked into action. Dr Kraft is happy to discuss any specific concerns with you prior to treatment commencing, and will also develop an individual treatment plan specific to the needs of your particular injury or condition.
Why does Prolotherapy work?
The basic principle of Prolotherapy is simple; the often surprising fact that the body heals itself through inflammation. Prolotherapy stimulates this inflammation of the affected ligaments and tendons. This in course triggers the wound healing mechanisms of the body, resulting in the deposit of new collagen, the substance that ligaments and tendons are made from.
This collagen strengthens and repairs the ligaments. New collagen also shrinks as it matures, which tightens the ligaments that were treated and makes them stronger. Treatment by a skilled physician has the potential to be 100% effective at drastically reducing and eliminating pain and injuries that are the result of weakness in the ligaments or tendons.
Is Prolotherapy Expensive?
Prolotherapy is surprisingly inexpensive when compared to the ongoing costs of regular physiotherapy or similar treatments, or to the costs and recovery time required from surgery.
Platelet rich plasma injections
Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP injections) can be used in the treatment of many musculoskeletal injuries including that of tendons, muscles and joints. Typically 2 or more injections are required, separated by 4-6 weeks apart. This may vary depending on your injury.
What tendon injuries can be treated with PRP?
PRP can be injected into:
- Tennis elbow (common extensor tendinosis)
- Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
- Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinosis)
- Achilles tendinosis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Hamstring tendons
- Adductor tendons
- Gluteal tendons
What muscle injuries can be treated with PRP?
PRP can be injected into the:
What other injuries can be treated with PRP?
PRP can also be used in:
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Knee MCL tears
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Hip Osteoarthritis
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections for Tendons
What is the structure of tendons?
Tendons are made of special cells called tenocytes, water and fibrous collagen protein. These proteins weave together to make a strong durable structure that naturally anchor to bone.
Why are tendons injured?
Tendons can transfer great force and thus can be injured if they are overused or overwhelmed. If this occurs, micro tears start to form in the collagen.
How do tendons heal after injury?
Injured tendons heal by scarring — this affects their strength and hence increases the risk of re-injury. Also, because tendons do not have a good blood supply, they tend to heal slower than other soft tissues.
Why is my tendon injury not improving?
As tendons have a poor blood supply, there is only a minimal inflammatory response. Without inflammation, the tendon repair system is limited and an abnormal pathological response occurs called angiofibroblastic degeneration . This degenerative response to the micro tears in collagen is the essence of tendinopathy or tendinosis. Often pain, localised tenderness, swelling and impaired performance occurs.
How have tendons been treated traditionally?
Traditional therapies do not address the inherently poor healing properties of tendons. Corticosteoid is sometimes injected but adverse effects such as atrophy and permanent structural damage to tendons can occur. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can cause gastrointestinal or kidney damage.
How is PRP different?
PRP injections aim to embrace and stimulate the inflammatory process which in turn will encourage the healing process. PRP focuses on restoring normal tissue composition while avoiding further degeneration. Ask your doctor about whether your tendon injury can be treated with PRP.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections for Muscle Strains / Tears
PRP can potentially accelerate muscle healing and reduce injury time. The early blood clot can be substituted by PRP with its supraphysiological concentration of growth factors which stimulates the healing process (8). Ask your doctor about whether your muscle injury can be treated with PRP.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections for Other Injuries
There is ongoing medical research into the use of PRP regarding its potential to heal other musculoskeletal injuries including: Trochanteric bursitis, Knee MCL tears, Knee osteoarthritis (9,10, 12-14) and Hip Osteoarthritis (11) Ask your doctor about whether your injury can be treated with PRP.